Weeks of struggle,
Culminating in days of deep distress,
Followed by a day of immense encouragement,
Leading to Today.
Today is filled with a mixed up mess of emotion and mental chaos.
Gratitude, anticipation, joy, relief,
Anxiety, mental fog, restlessness, pain.
Needing to accomplish much,
Feeling like the long-ago cartoon characters running, running, running, and never moving forward,
Watching the clock tick by,
Uncrossed list staring back at me, schedule revamped, reworked, and revamped again.
Physical impairments, circumstantial stressors, "what ifs?" piling on top of "what ifs?"
All are surface problems.
The root, I know...needing to sit at Jesus's feet like Mary.
And yet I struggle to clear the way.
Unfinished Bible studies beg for my attention.
"Should dos" line up at my door.
Day upon day of "not keeping up" in every direction
Brings a near-paralysis as mind and body threaten to shut down.
Time to "do the next thing".
I struggle to get into the Word, but I know the Word must get into me.
Unable to word a coherent prayer, I cling to these words from Romans 8:26:
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Do the next thing.
Read Romans 8. Read again. And again. Soak in its rich truth.
Thank God for the groanings of the Holy Spirit in my overwhelming weakness this morning.
Ask for wisdom...He promises to supply!
Move on to the next thing...and the next...
Loving the words of this poem again this morning:
Do The Next ThingFrom an old English parsonage,Down by the sea,There came in the twilight,A message to me;Its quaint Saxon legend,Deeply engraven,Hath, as it seems to me,Teaching from Heaven.And on through the hoursThe quiet words ringLike a low inspiration-Do the next thing.
Many a questioning, many a fear,Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.Moment by moment,Let down from Heaven,Time, opportunity,Guidance, are given.Fear not tomorrows,Child of the King,Trust them with Jesus,Do the next thing.
Do it immediately;Do it with prayer;Do it reliantly, casting all care;Do it with reverence,Tracing His Hand,Who placed it before thee withEarnest command.Stayed on Omnipotence,Safe 'neath His wing,Leave all resultings,Do the next thing.Looking to Jesus, ever serener,(Working or suffering)Be thy demeanor,In His dear presence,The rest of His calm,The light of His countenanceBe thy psalm,Strong in His faithfulness,Praise and sing,Then, as He beckons thee,Do the next thing.-Author unknown
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Today's post was not a planned post. Even as I typed it, I really didn't plan to publish...I was processing through my own struggle this morning, and I often do that best through words on a page. However, as I neared the end and worked my way through the passage in Romans 8 and the simple old poem God has used on similar days in the past, I began to reconsider.
God has been working on me for the last 18 months or so about being more transparent. He began the process through a casual comment from an old friend while on vacation last year, and is continuing it currently through my participation on the Launch Team for Mary DeMuth's soon-to-be released book, The Wall Around Your Heart. He continues to remind me that He works through our transparency, even when we would sometimes be much more comfortable avoiding the vulnerability that requires.
I may not be the only one who has started this week sludging through "a mixed up mess of emotion and mental chaos". Perhaps others need the encouragement of these verses today, and the reminder to "do the next thing" in the strength and power He gives for this. very. moment....not this afternoon, or next week, or next year, but just this moment.
So...I'm hesitantly going to hit "publish" a few minutes from now, and pray that God will use these raw, mostly-unedited, off-my-beaten path words to encourage someone today. If you've been encouraged, I'd love to hear from you...that would be an encouragement to me! And if you are struggling today, I would love to pray for you. Leave a comment below, or send a note via the email widget in the sidebar.
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